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AG Rokita files third lawsuit against federal vaccine rules, focused on health care workers

By Lauren Chapman, IPB News | Published on in Government, Health, Law, Politics
The Biden administration's order requires vaccinations of all health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid. (Rebecca Green/WBOI)

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed the third of his planned lawsuits against the Biden administration’s workplace vaccine-or-test rules. It focuses on an order requiring vaccinations of all health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid.

The Biden administration’s rule requires all eligible staff to have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Dec. 6, and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

The rule applies to hospitals, hospices, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, long-term care facilities and psychiatric residential treatment facilities. It does not apply to other health care facilities, like physician offices, that aren’t regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

READ MORE: Indiana Attorney General suing federal government over COVID-19 vaccination workplace rules

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The regulation provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances or practices.

In a statement Tuesday, Rokita’s office said this mandate “causes grave danger to vulnerable persons” by “forcing the termination” of caregivers who aren’t vaccinated.

Of Indiana’s more than 16,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, about 72 percent have been Hoosiers 70 and older. Nearly 90 percent of breakthrough deaths are Hoosiers 65 and older.

About 40 percent of all U.S. hospitals require COVID-19 vaccinations.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.